It shouldn’t be a startling revelation to hear that it is in your best interest to take care of your body by eating well and getting exercise. There are a variety of ways to stay in shape, but one that can be loads of fun, and satisfy competitive urges, is to participate in athletic activity.
As the old saying goes, though, “it’s all fun and games until someone sustains a broken toe” (or something like that). Such is the risk that accompanies playing a sport. Here at Foot Specialists of Long Island, we treat many patients due to injuries they sustained in practices, games, or while training.
The Risk of Taking the Field
Feet and ankles are major players in any physical activity. Whether you run, jump, kick, or land, your feet and ankles are helping you do it. As such, these body parts are especially at risk for injuries, including toe fractures. All it takes is the traumatic force from an accidental kick or misplaying a ground ball and a toe bone may crack.
In addition to the standard fracture, your toes are also susceptible to tiny, hairline cracks that we know as stress fractures. As opposed to the standard variety which usually results from a single incident, stress fractures are often caused by repetitive force, like your steps striking the ground when you run, and are typically considered to be “overuse” injuries.
Did That Baseball Break My Toe?
The pain that accompanies a broken bone will often clue you into the fact that you have sustained a fracture. Additionally, you may experience bruising, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking (particularly if the big toe is broken). If the fracture is displaced your toe may have a deformed appearance.
Beyond the symptoms of a fractured toe bone, there are also complications that you should be aware might happen. Subungual hematoma, which is when blood pools under your toenail, can result in the toenail needing to be removed. A compound fracture is one where the bone has pierced the skin and poses the risk of infection. When the fracture takes place in a toe joint, you may develop arthritis in that joint in time.
Heading to the Sideline
Whether your broken toe is a displaced, simple, or stress fracture, the inherent goal is the same – ensure that the bone heals correctly while providing the least amount of pain to you as possible. In order to facilitate a successful mend, the experts at Foot Specialists of Long Island may need to manipulate your broken bones into the proper place. After we are sure that your bone tissue is lined up to heal correctly, it is possible that you will need to have a splint or cast to keep everything where it belongs. If you come in with an open wound, we will likely administer either a tetanus shot or provide antibiotic medication to prevent an infection.
In regard to home treatment, you will need to keep bodyweight off the affected appendage and use techniques (ice, elevation) to minimize the pain and swelling from the injury.
Put Me Back in, Coach (After a Full Recovery, Of Course)
Recovering from a toe fracture can vary for individuals depending on such factors as the nature of the break, age of the patient, nutrition to assist the healing process, and patient’s willingness to follow Dr. Gasparini’s instructions. That said, a fracture should heal in roughly six weeks, with simple fractures typically mending quite well. When a fracture takes place in a joint, it can have an increased risk of leading to deformity, stiffness, or arthritis.
If you have a broken toe from spending time on the field, ice, or track, Foot Specialists of Long Island will make sure that you are all set to heal properly so you can ultimately get back in the game. Our practice serves the Lindenhurst, Massapequa Park, Farmingdale, Bethpage, Wantagh, and Seaford communities. Dr. Gasparini is your friendly Nassau County podiatrist who provides exceptional care and effective treatment for all of his patients. Call our Massapequa, NY office at (516) 804-9038 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.